80s hits that don't sound like they were produced in the 80s

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by sgtmono, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Never heard "Cosi Fan Tutti Fruitti", have you? :)
  2. theholygoof

    theholygoof Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    Crowded House: Something So Strong, maybe Don't Dream It's Over...
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  3. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass., USA
    I'm a fan of Squeeze's original run before the first breakup, and I do think a lot of it has a '80s sound. But their actual U.S. hit, Tempted, qualifies for the thread premise.
  4. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident

    Baltimore, MD
    Hah, no.... Let's say "Black Coffee in Bed", "Tempted", et. al. don't sound like '80s. ;)
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  5. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident

    Baltimore, MD
    I can agree with that, by and large. There might be some small elements in the production of those songs, but mostly, yeah.
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  6. Laineycrusoe

    Laineycrusoe Forum Resident

    Tyne and Wear, UK
    Golden Brown by The Stranglers.
  7. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Ooh, can't go along with that! Love the songs, love the album, but very 80s sound to it...
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  8. It certainly doesn't sound any earlier than the '80s, though. As someone else said, maybe it's actually more '90s.
  9. fallbreaks

    fallbreaks Forum Resident

    There are a lot of songs on this list that 'channel' the music of other decades, whether through the arrangement, the songwriting, or what have you, but they almost all sound like recordings from the 80s. It's in the digital reverb, it's in the drum sound, it's in the mix, it's in the sheen.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
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  10. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Agree. Sure, a song like "Don't Dream It's Over" could've been written/recorded/performed the same way in earlier days, but the production says "hey man, it's the 80s!!!"

    Then there's the other thread about "over the top 80s production" which confuses anything that even vaguely "sounds 80s" for being "over the top". If we could find a middle ground between the two threads, we'd be set! :D
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  11. SMcFarlane

    SMcFarlane Forum Resident

    You nailed it with that one!
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  12. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Again, I have not listen *that* close to the song, as it was never a favorite. I guess i'll listen to it now...

    OK, take off the reverb and it could pass. I'm thinking it would then be closer to Oliver's "Good Morning Starshine".
  13. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Sounds like 1980 to me. Even back then it sounded like Billy Joel trying to cash in on the punk sound.
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  14. IpseDixit

    IpseDixit Forum Resident

    A lot of the songs mentioned so far may have been written and performed as obvious throwbacks/homages to another era, but the production technique of the recording itself almost always gives things away (i.e. all those "50's-vibe" recordings in the 80's from Billy Joel and others with their digital sheen aren't fooling anyone). I'd argue it wasn't until the late 90's/early 2000's that I started hearing artists actually try and meticulously recapture the actual sonic blueprint of 50's and 60's recording studios and production techniques. A good example would be Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, some of whose recordings you could stick on a classic soul compilation and I'd have no idea they were recorded decades after the other tracks on the disc!
    monoboy likes this.
  15. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident

    Emmylou Harris kept it real (and still does), even through the 80s :)
  16. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    Other than the intro, this one sounds contemporary to me:

  17. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I disagree here. Traveling Wilbury's, Cloud Nine, Armchair Theater, Full Moon Fever and Mystery Girl all sound so much alike they could be a single album. A realllllly good album, but they all have 80s Jeff Lynn imprinted all over them.
  18. Roscoe

    Roscoe Active Member

    Orange County, CA
    It's hard to think of many 80s hits that don't sound like they are 80s products, but that's going to be true of any decade...the production, recording techniques, etc. will nearly always reflect the era they are recorded in.

    But there are a few 80s songs that may qualify to some extent. Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" has been mentioned. I would also mention Edie Brickell's "What I Am" from the same year, a precursor the Lillith Fair-type acts that would come into vogue in the mid-90s. A few others that come to mind:
    - Boston - "Amanda" & "We're Ready": I was a bit shocked when I first heard "Amanda" on the radio in 1986. This was during an era where veteran acts were attempting to update their sound with drum machines, synthesizers, etc. so something that sounded so mid-70s seemed unlikely to be a hit.
    - Guns & Roses - "Patience": Acoustic, quasi-Stones hard rock ballad sounds more like 70s than late 80s.
    - Doobie Brothers - "The Doctor": Like Boston's 80s hits, this song sounds like an outtake from one of their 70s albums (although some 80s production techniques are evident upon closer listen). I was also surprised this one became a hit in the year of Milli Vanilli, Poison, Roxette, etc.
    - Richard Marx - "Don't Mean Nothing": Sounds a lot like 70s Joe Walsh (particularly "Life's Been Good"); another retro-sounding surprise hit.
  19. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Syracuse, NY USA
    The Back In Black hits were a good example. I'd say Iron Maiden's UK hits didn't have much of an eighties production sound. Some of the hits by the Police had good non booming drums on them.
  20. saundr00

    saundr00 Bobby

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned 867-5309. A huge hit with not an 80s bone in its body.
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  21. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    1980: Back in Black
    1981: Burning For You
    1982: It's Raining Again
    1983: Jeopardy (to me this sounds more like those late 70s rock meets disco songs)
    1986: Agree with the Boston songs mentioned above
    1987: Rock Me (Great White)
    1988: This Note's For You
    1989: Closer to Fine
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  22. EasterEverywhere

    EasterEverywhere Forum Resident

    Of all the IRS era REM singles,that would be the only one sounded like it was recorded in the 80s.Think Fall On Me or Driver8.

    Way too slick sounding for that.Way too over produced.Now Goo Goo Muck by The Cramps,that's a different story.Crazy Little Thing Called Love sounds as fake and phony as Elvis singing Way Down.

    Pretenders Message of Love
    Los Lobos Will The Wolf Survive ?
    The Jam A Town Called Malice and Start!

    Is Teacher Teacher by Rockpile a big enough song to count?
  23. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Peaked at #49 on the Hot 100, but it is a song we do play on WMIS-FM a lot and on the KKBJ-FM 80s Retro Show.
  24. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Definitely fits this thread, plus this is a great song.
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  25. krock2009

    krock2009 Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    I will say that "It's Only Natural" from 1991's "Woodface" sounds like it could have been recorded in the last decade.
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